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Former Blackburn firefighter loses cancer battle
A FORMER Blackburn firefighter has lost his courageous battle with cancer.
Andrew Mark Howard, 45, died after the disease returned for the fourth time.
Mr Howard, known to his friends and colleagues as Andy, joined Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service as a retained firefighter at Longridge Fire Station in April 1985.
In October 1989 he became a full-time firefighter and following his recruit course was posted to Red Watch at Blackburn where he remained until January 2001 at which point he transferred to White Watch at Preston.
Peter Holland, chief fire officer for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Andy was a colleague who generated tremendous respect, not least for his duties, but the courageous way he battled cancer.
“We are very sad to hear of his death.”
Mr Howard passed his leading firefighter’s exam in 1992 and had periods of acting-up in 1993, 1994, 2001 and 2002.
He completed his boat operator’s course and was also an Aerial Ladder Platform operator while posted at Preston.
He was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct medal in 2005.
In August 2008 he transferred to Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service, and was posted to Polmadie Fire Station.
While at Polmadie he acted up on numerous occasions to Crew Commander.
He met his wife Lorna at the Rehabilitation Centre, Jubilee House, for the Firefighters’ Charity in October 2006, where he was recovering from a cancer operation.
He successfully fought cancer three times but lost his final battle and passed away on Sunday, July 8.
He also leaves his son Jordan and was himself a devoted son, brother and uncle.
Lorna is a Group Commander with Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service.
A guard of honour will be formed by his former colleagues at his funeral and interment on Monday at Longridge Parish Church of St Lawrence at 1pm today.